What to Do With a Degree in Economics

Alternative Careers

Economics is the study of how individuals and organizations make choices regarding the manner in which they utilize available resources. These resources include intangibles such as time and talent, and tangible things such as money, labor, housing, equipment and supplies. When you earn a degree in economics you will leave school with skills that will make you very marketable in a variety of careers, in addition to the most obvious one, economist.

These skills include reading comprehension, active listening and learning, science and math, critical thinking, decision making, research, and writing and speaking skills. Let's take a look at some occupations that are good choices for economics majors.

Financial Advisor

Financial advisors help their clients manage financial goals which include saving for their children's educational expenses and their own retirement. Many also give advice about insurance, taxes and investments. Your knowledge about allocation of resources will help you do your job. Your strong math and speaking skills will also be assets. You need a bachelor's degree to work in this occupation. A license is required in order to sell financial products.

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Financial Reporter

Reporters investigate and deliver news stories to the public. Financial reporters' purview is stories that involve economic issues, for example banking, investments and the stock market.
While many employers prefer to hire individuals who have a journalism or communications degree, others will consider job candidates who are knowledgeable in the topics they cover. As an economics major you will be able to not only take advantage of your subject area expertise, but also your writing, research and speaking skills.

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Management Consultant

Management consultants help companies change their structures, improve efficiency and become more profitable and competitive. What a great use of your knowledge! In addition, your excellent reading comprehension skills will help you understand the many documents you will have to pore over as you try to learn about your clients. Your research and active listening skills will also help you with this endeavor. Your critical thinking skills will help you decide what actions to take and your strong writing and speaking skills will help you present your plans to your clients.


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Loan Officer

Loan officers help bank customers, including individuals and businesses, obtain funds. One may specialize in commercial, consumer or mortgage loans. Your excellent active listening skills will help you understand your clients' needs and your strong speaking skills will allow you to explain the terms of the loans for which they are eligible. Your facility with numbers will be very helpful as well.

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Legislators, after being elected by the public, run federal, state and local governments. They enact laws and carry them out.
They make decisions about how to distribute public funds, and that is where your background in economics will be very helpful. Your knowledge about resource allocation will inform the way you do this part of your job. You will also be able to rely heavily on your strong listening and speaking skills.

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Stock Trader

Stock traders buy and sell stock for investors. They analyze companies and investments on behalf of their clients that include individuals and companies. Working in this occupation will require you to call upon your educational background. You will also utilize many of the skills you attained while earning your degree including math, reading and writing, research and decision making skills.

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Assessors, who typically work for local governments, estimate real properties' values in order to assess property tax. They do mass assessments of all homes in local neighborhoods and individual ones if those are challenged. Many municipalities require bachelor's degrees. While a specific major isn't needed, coursework in economics will be very helpful. Reading comprehension, active listening, critical thinking and speaking skills will also help you do your job.

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As an entrepreneur, you will own your own business. That makes you responsible for ... well ... everything. Your know-how in the area of resource allocation will come in extremely handy. So will all the skills you acquired while studying economics. Entrepreneurs need excellent critical thinking, decision making, speaking and active listening and learning skills regardless of the type of businesses they own.

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Administrative Services Manager

An administrative services manager coordinates the supportive services of an organization, including mail distribution, facilities maintenance, record keeping, scheduling and budgeting. Your employer will rely on you to make choices regarding the use of its resources, including labor and money. As an economics major, your knowledge will inform your decisions. You will also be able to rely upon your communication and critical thinking skills to do your job.

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Economics Secondary School Teacher

Secondary school teachers provide instruction in many different subjects including math, art, English, history, music language and economics. They generally specialize in one. Individuals who want to work in this occupation typically get a dual bachelor's degrees in the subject in which they want to specialize—which in your case is economics—and in education. In addition to your subject area knowledge, your strong decision making, critical thinking and writing and speaking skills will also benefit you.

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